A Toronto-area Liberal MP, Leona Alleslev, is crossing the floor to join the Conservative Party.
Alleslev, who represents the riding of Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill, rose on a question of privilege at 1:35 p.m. ET on Monday and announced she had taken an oath to serve her country while serving as a member of the air force, and that she no longer felt she could do that in the Liberal Party.
“My oath is to my country and not my party,” she said.
“Do not accept the status quo. Our country is at stake.”
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer welcomed former Liberal MP Leona Alleslev to his party on Monday, announcing she would be taking on the newly-created role of global security critic.
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“On behalf of my Conservative colleagues, I’m extremely pleased to welcome Ms. Alleslev to the Conservative team,” Scheer said. “She brings with her an extraordinary wealth of experience in military and foreign affairs, government procurement, and private sector leadership. She will be a strong asset in our growing Conservative team as we work toward 2019.”
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also commented on her crossing as he went into question period.
“This is something we allow for in our system,” said Trudeau. “I wish her well in her decision.”
Alleslev previously served as a captain with the Royal Canadian Air Force and was elected in the 2015 election.
She spoke with reporters in a press conference shortly afterwards and was asked whether there was a particular thing that the prime minister had done or not done that led her to make the decision to cross the floor.
“It wasn’t necessarily that. The choice before us now is very serious and the world has changed,” she said.
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“It’s not about any one thing. It’s about all the foundational things that matter to this country,” she said, pointing to tax reform and defence matters.
Alleslev was also asked whether she had gone to anyone within the party to try and address her concerns.
She did not clarify what, if any, further paths were pursued before crossing the floor.
Her defection came as Scheer also welcomed another new Conservative MP to his party.
Richard Martel won the byelection earlier this year in Quebec’s Chicoutimi-Le Fjord riding.
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